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Tiki Central / Collecting Tiki

Origins and evolution of the Fog Cutter mug

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Time to add to this old thread. I can’t think of another mug design that has lasted as long as the iconic Trader Vic’s Fog Cutter mug. The ceramic coconut mug may be the runner up. Vic’s Fog Cutter mug can be traced as far back as 1944. Size, design and definitely quality have gone up and down but the basic mug survives to this day. The third design of the mug came out in 1963 I believe and is commonly called the “sunset mug” for obvious reasons. These mugs range in size and quality but the basic design has remained intact. Some of these mugs can be found where the mold quality is so poor that the figures are just blobs on the mug with equally bad paint glazes. Still a good mug to have in your collection for sure.


Here is a larger Vic’s mug which I believe post dates the 1963 version. This mug has crisp details and decent paint.


Here is an early Vic’s mug dating from the 1940s. This mug can be seen on pg. 69 of the book TIKI POP.


Here is a common Sumo Flip mug in the classic Fog Cutter shape.

At some point in time Harvey’s in Lake Tahoe broke with the classic shape of the Fog Cutter mug and tweaked the design a bit. The Harvey’s appears to have done this in the 60’s as far as I can tell. These mugs also suffered in mold quality as time went by.


The Harvey’s version of the Fog Cutter mug.


Lastly is a similar design to the Harvey’s mug. This mug was made by TEPCO. This mug is HEAVY and could probably survive being shot out of a cannon. It is not marked for a particular restaurant. The design is simple and elegant. Almost an art-deco feel to it and the glaze is super rich. Thanks for taking a look and some of my collection.


"Anyone who has ever seen them is thereafter haunted as if by a feverish dream" Karl Woermann

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2020-03-25 06:46 ]

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2020-03-26 03:56 ]